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One day when we were alone my Boss tried to grab me...
April 2005, Article 6
joined an engineering
firm three years back after a family crisis. There are 6 people
in my department. My immediate boss knows my family problems and
was my mentor and guide when I joined. One day when we were alone
he tried to grab me and I slapped him and left. I didn't have
any friends outside the office in this new country, so I confided in
my colleague who was the only other woman in my dept. That's when
she told me he has been flirting with her for
time, knowing she is married, but that she too has began to like
the real problem started. Though my boss apologized he started
yelling at me in the office for small things, complaining I am
hiding information from him, I am
trying to bypass him and get a promotion. The constant fighting
went to the ears of my CEO and he suspended my Boss
for misbehavior. The office was OK after that for a some time.
I want to quit this job but Management has a lot of faith in me. They have doubled my salary in one year. I do need this job. I am in UAE and this country VISA rules are very strict. I cannot break my contract. But I don't know how to behave in the office. Out of six people including me, three of them don't even talk to me or talk to me only to snub. I feel left out, and depressed, and it's affecting my work. Please advise. Should I take risk and quit my job? How should I handle this?
It sounds like a difficult situation and it is made more difficult by the fact that you are in the UAE, where you have visa requirements and a work contract to be concerned with.
it sounds like you have a CEO who takes this issue seriously. The
fact that he suspended your boss for his sexual harassment indicates
that the CEO is aware that he or she needs to ensure that employees
act appropriately. Therefore I would approach him or her before
taking any other steps. It may be that a program to raise the
awareness of employees about harassment issues can be put in place. That
should help to address the poor treatment that you are receiving
from other employees as well.
If the CEO is not responsive to your concerns then I think you can feel assured that you have done everything possible to salvage this working relationship. If the situation remains as it is, my advice would be to leave the job, despite the good pay. It is not worth the risks to your physical and mental health to stay in a position where you are feeling so isolated and harassed.
cannot really comment on the difficulties of breaking your work contract. The
contract itself may prescribe penalties for early termination, or
you may be better off to consult a lawyer and explore your options. It
seems unlikely that there would be no provision for ending the contract
early, otherwise it amounts to a contract for indentured servitude,
which in common law jurisdictions at least is illegal as being contrary
to public policy.
of luck with sorting this one out. Thanks
for writing to Office-Politics.
Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian whose passion is helping people and organizations create better relationships and stronger communities by being clear, committed and collaborative in their approach to ethics and conflict. John is currently located in Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada, working with Canada's aboriginal communities.
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